Very few people born at the maternity unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley can claim to be 60s babies – that’s because it only opened its doors in the final weeks of the iconic decade.
This week is the 50th anniversary of the Paisley Maternity, now the Royal Alexandra Hospital Maternity Unit and some of the babies born in the first few days came back to celebrate this momentous occasion with staff who have worked there over the’ years.
The day was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of maternity services and recognise the changes in maternity care in the last 50 years.
Dorothy Finlay, who is Lead Midwife at the unit, has been a midwife for 37 years and has loved every minute of it.
She said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole team at the unit for the years of care provided to women and their families in the Paisley area.
“It is 50 years of looking after mums both before, during and after they give birth. The team from the clinical staff to the domestic staff provide a world class service to local women and their families and we should be immensely proud of the care and support we give to each and every woman who comes through the doors of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Maternity Unit.”
As well as staff, patients and babies, Councillor Lorraine Cameron, Provost of Renfrewshire, joined the celebrations with a word of thanks for everything the staff have done for the last 50 years to support mums to be across Renfrewshire.
One special guest was Anne Marie Smith, who was born on Christmas Day 1969.
She said: “My mum was over the moon to have the first Christmas baby at the new hospital! It was quite emotional coming along to the party – we lost her last year.
“But I knew she would have wanted me to be there and I took along the cutting from the newspaper at the time. Mum treasured it for years and gave it to me on my 40th birthday. It now hangs in my kitchen – lovely memories to treasure.
“The party was great and it was so nice to be invited along and meet all the midwives and other staff. It was very special.”
Paisley Maternity Unit was on the site before the main Royal Alexandra Hospital Maternity Unit opened its doors in 1988. The original unit had 112 beds and two places for private patients.
In 1988 the new Royal Alexandra Hospital was built with a new maternity unit and this is where, for the last 31 years women across Renfrewshire have given birth to their little bundles of joy.
As well as a birthday party the first 50 babies born on 16 December received a special commemorative bib as a keepsake.